Chicken potato casserole is a dish which includes chicken and potato and is cooked and served from a casserole dish. Generally, the chicken and potatoes will be cooked in a stock alongside a selection of vegetables. The mixture bakes in the oven until the chicken is cooked, allowing the vegetables’ flavor to combine with the stock, which is soaked up by the meat during cooking. This creates a moist chicken and potato dish, served in a gravy-like stock with several mixed vegetables. Variations to the dish include different ingredients, such as cider with a stock cube instead of just stock.
During the cooking process of chicken potato casserole, the chicken is usually browned before being added to the mixture. The potato is sometimes shallow-fried alongside the chicken prior to being transferred to the oven. The ingredients are slightly precooked to brown the outer edges before being slowly cooked in the stock. This is particularly important for the chicken, because it helps it retain some of its moisture.
The stock is a key ingredient in the chicken potato casserole, because it helps to keep the mixture moist. Slow-cooking can be a good way to cook meat so the finished product is tenderer, but the increased cooking time can make things dry out during cooking. This is counteracted in a chicken potato casserole by the inclusion of the stock, usually chicken stock. The stock is a liquid broth into which all of the ingredients are immersed to ensure they don’t dry out. The casserole dish should also be covered during cooking to help to lock in the moisture by preventing evaporation.
Casseroles are traditionally served in the same dish they are cooked in, and are generally slow-cooked. The word casserole may refer to food served in the dish it was cooked in, but many people understand the term to mean food cooked in a sauce of some description for a long time. Chicken potato casserole is therefore just a slow-cooked version of chicken and potatoes. Stock is included as a sauce, and several vegetables add flavor and color to the dish. Many different other vegetables can be used, but carrots, butternut squash, and celery are common additions.
Several variations exist on the classic chicken potato casserole recipe. Some include cider in the place of the water usually used to make the stock. Close to a pint of cider is added to the chicken along with a crumbled chicken stock cube to add cider flavorings to those present in the chicken stock. Herbs such as thyme and coriander are often added to the mixture to enhance the flavor. In addition, some chefs like to add an apple to the mixture for the last 15 minutes of cooking.